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To aid struggling restaurants, county to limit third-party delivery fees

Original post made on Nov 18, 2020

To help struggling restaurants weather the winter, San Mateo County supervisors on Tuesday passed restrictions limiting how much third-party delivery apps can charge county restaurants to provide deliveries and takeout services.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 11:28 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by David B
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Nov 18, 2020 at 12:20 pm

David B is a registered user.

So: we want more people ordering takeout from more restaurants to keep them in business, so let's artificially cap the revenue of the (unprofitable) companies that make that possible, but tell them they can't reduce their costs. That's just dumb.

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 18, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Brian is a registered user.

The delivery fee is only a small part of how the delivery services like GrubHub, UberEats and the others make money. If you compare the prices on the food on their sites versus what is listed on the restaurant site, the delivery services add a premium to each disk. What costs $12.00 in a restaurant is listed for $14.00 on the different delivery sites. So you pay a delivery fee, a service fee and extra for each item you ordered. The restaurant get less per item ordered and none of the other fees. The delivery services are like a parasite on the restaurants. I prefer to just order take out and go pick up my food. When I leave the tip I know it is going to help the people at the restaurant and not go into corporate profits.

If these companies can not make a profit from the fees they are already charging maybe they should reexamine their business model.

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 18, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Brian is a registered user.

My mistake, I was incorrect in my example where I said the restaurant charges $12 but the delivery service lists the same item for $14. I just checked Shiok Kitchen, since it is in Menlo Park. They list Duck Garlic Noodles for $16.00 while Uber Eats charges $19.00 for it from Shiok. Beef Rendang lists for $15.00 while Uber Eats charges $23.00!. Laksa is $14.00 on Shioks site and $19.00 on Uber Eats. On top of that there is the Service fee and Delivery Fee.

Uber Eats is the only food delivery service I have installed but I would love to hear what others charge for these dishes if anyone has time to look them up.

Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 18, 2020 at 1:01 pm

dana hendrickson is a registered user.

What is the difference between delivery and pick-up orders?

"15% of an order for delivery orders and 10% for pickup orders."

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 18, 2020 at 1:22 pm

Brian is a registered user.


Some of the delivery services let you use their site to order pickup and they charge you for that privilege. I am not sure why anyone would choose to do that because in my experience they also charge more per item, as noted above. Just deal directly with the restaurant so they get the money and can stay in business.

Posted by TechStock
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Nov 18, 2020 at 5:02 pm

TechStock is a registered user.

I have started asking my favorite restaurants whether they prefer that I call them directly to order takeout (which means no payment to a delivery service) or order through a third party. Different places have given me different answers - so I presume that some restaurants are happy giving up some profit in order to off-load the job of processing orders. Others prefer that I call them directly and just come pick up the food.

Posted by awatkins
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 18, 2020 at 10:41 pm

awatkins is a registered user.

Thank you David B. It never fails to amaze me that apparently-intelligent people think they can heavy-handedly intervene in a free market and not ruin it. We should require elected officials to pass a basic economics test.

Now, sit back and watch delivery services become scarce.

Posted by awatkins
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 18, 2020 at 10:44 pm

awatkins is a registered user.

Kate — how could you publish this without interviewing some delivery people?

Posted by Local94025
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 19, 2020 at 5:01 am

Local94025 is a registered user.

Good for the county! Bravo.
I am tired of these "app" companies taking advantage. To use their words against them, "they are just an app, not an employer." So yeah, they are making big money off the labor of others. Thank you Brian for doing the math. We all know theses app companies can afford to pay hundreds of millions to fight propositions to pay their work force as employees and what industry wouldn't love to not have to abide by employee laws, but I digress. It is an industry that needs regulation. The "free market" economics and Reganomics work very well for income inequity, there is plenty of money to be made without prive gouging and manipulation like the up charging. These companies are not going anywhere - That was a bluff

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